What struck me when I read the readings for this Sunday was the problem that we human beings have with ego and unfairness. Often, we just can’t “get over ourselves.” In the first reading and in the gospel, the so called “elect” were downright outdone by the fact that God had given the gift of His Holy Spirit to outsiders – those considered “less than” in their eyes. They were upset, jealous and did not want the spotlight taken from them. It is such a typical human response.
We see it played out in families where there is more than one child. Siblings always “keep score.” They are jealous of any extra time or gifts given to a brother or sister. “Where is my time? Where is my cash? You are always easier on him!…” Siblings whine about getting dad’s big nose or mom’s bad hair, as though parents can somehow select which genetic traits they will pass on to whom. They often see the older/younger one as having things soooo much easier.
Life is not fair. Resources are not always distributed evenly. One only has to take a look at the condition of our world to see this. This unequal distribution can call us to be better people if we will step up to the plate. We can share what we have with those who have less. We can help someone who doesn’t have a particular skill for which we have been gifted. We can be happy – and rejoice – with someone who has been given a particular gift/grace that we don’t have!
The fact is that God can do what He wants with His gifts – and He doesn’t just share them with the holy few! God gives each gifts to be used to build up the Church and to build up each other. We should freely use our gifts for this purpose. We should support and encourage others to do the same. We don’t want to thwart the work of the Holy Spirit with our insecurities and hangups. Instead, we pray that the Holy Spirit will set ablaze the hearts of millions with radical faith, total surrender and love for the Lord!!